Rob gives his take on the Gillette ad that has been gaining a lot of attention recently. With the line “Gillette, Be The Best Man You Can Be,” people have been going back and forth about their own opinions, showing the polarizing impact and importance of this advertisement. Amidst the #MeToo movement and all other issues we are facing as a society, the Gillette ad powerfully brings up the lack of knowledge men have about their impact on other genders. Robert calls out the bad behaviors men do that keep them from being the best they can be. As the advertisement goes, “Men can do better.”
176: Angry At The Gillette Ad? Good!
I am speaking now on the Gillette, Be The Best Man You Can Be advertisement, which is pissing off a lot of people and I am so thrilled. I am so thrilled at the anger, the angst, the pushback, the ways and the polarizing impact of this so important and amazing advertisement. Hats off to Gillette and I speak about my viewpoints about why this is polarizing and why this is pissing people off. This fits into a lot of things I love to talk about, mostly around the lack of knowledge that men have about their impact on other genders.
I’m talking about this Gillette ad. Did Gillette start a fire or not? I am so thrilled. The sadist in me and the masochist both enjoy the power of the Gillette ad. Just from the entertainment value alone that it’s producing, it’s magnificent. Shout out to Gillette for waking, causing a rip in the waves and concepts because that’s what’s necessary. I have been fascinated by this whole Gillette ad. I’ve been out of my mind obsessed with the impact. Before I get too crazy, let me describe this ad. If you haven’t seen this at this point, please go find it. It’s number 33 trending on YouTube, which means it’s up there and so far 16,651,546 views, currently 243,000 comments. Of that, there are 835,000 dislikes and 425,000 upticks of this video. That alone in three days or four days. It’s only been three and a half days since it’s been out. I’ve read that Gillette stock is tanking. That is not true. Just so you know, Procter & Gamble is holding steady at $91.12, a little down from when it came, $91.50. For all those worried about your stock, don’t worry it’s still happening.
This ad is pissing people off across the board. I am so thrilled because to me, there was #MeToo, which happened. For those who know or don’t know, Tatiana Burke started #MeToo about ten years ago. What happened was Harvey Weinstein got busted by an actress in October of 2017. What happened is the world has been woken up since then. The energy around #MeToo has gone up and gone down. I think this is like those fires in the Lord of the Rings when they light one fire then they see the next fire and then all of a sudden, the fires are going across the warning system. This to me is another awakening and fire because it is time to wake up. The first thing I want to say is I’m 100% in support of this ad. I think it’s magnificent. I think it was brilliant. All those people that are pissed off, I’m going to take a softer approach to this conversation. I want to say that this is amazing what this has done, just at the level it’s woken people up.We're all human beings. We all have good behaviors and we all have bad behaviors. We have no pristine habits. Click To Tweet
I want to quickly go over the content of the ad so you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to. This is what is in the ad. At the start, it just describes #MeToo and calling out to men. At ten seconds, there’s an example of bullying, both physically and cyberbullying. At eighteen seconds, there was catcalling. At 22 seconds, there was a sexual exploration by a man of a woman in a business meeting. At 24 seconds, there’s sexual harassment and comedy and how we often use the demeaning of women by men to be funny. At 30 seconds, there was mansplaining. At 36 seconds, there was violence among boys, “Boys will be boys.” At 41 seconds, there’s the start of the pushback, which was #MeToo and at 53 seconds, Gillette says, “We believe in the best of men.”
What is all this uproar about? At 53 seconds, I know we have short attention spans and I know we get stuck visually by things that annoy us and touch our buttons, but at 53 seconds Gillette says, “We believe in the best of men.” That is what I see in this ad. There’s such uproar around this ad about this being sexist and this being against men or anti-men. This is not an anti-men video. This is an anti-worst behavior man video. In other words, we’re all human beings. We all have good behaviors and we all have shitty behaviors. We have no pristine habits. We have things in our shadow. We have things inside of us that are happening. Some of them were aware of and some of them, we aren’t. If we don’t pay attention to our shitty behaviors, they remain shitty behaviors. Why do we hire coaches? Why do we have great teachers? Why do we read books? Why do we work? Because we want to see the parts of ourselves that we want to make better. This video ad is all about men being the best they can be. What the fuck is the pushback against it?
At 59 seconds, there was a guy sticking up for a young woman against a sexist other guy. The sexist guy says, “Smile.” His friend says, “Don’t be like that.” Then a couple seconds later a hot woman walks down the road and this guy goes to catcall and the other guy’s like, “Don’t do that.” At 1:09, There’s a dad stepping up against bullying as his son watches, which to me is the sweetest moment on the whole video. Then at 1:12, there’s a guy who actually stood up and being cool in that situation. Then the video goes into basically advertisement to sell razors, but also to wake guys the fuck up. I’ve done so much research into this. I’ve read articles. I haven’t looked at all 243,000 comments, but I’ve done enough looking. I’ve hung out on the ManTalks community, Connor Beaton’s amazing group for men which I highly recommend. I’ve looked at a group called #MenMeetMeToo by Adam Gilad.
I’ve done research and it’s very polarizing and it’s very mixed. It’s two sides of the story. There’s the story that’s saying basically things like, “What about women?” This is really common. Guys are being called out for their bad behavior, not anti-guy. Guys are being called out for their bad behavior and the response is, “What about women? What about women who are doing this? Women do this too.” When we get called out, what do we do is we try to diminish the impact of the message by bringing in another thing. We try to deflect. This is something our president does all the time. We get caught and all of a sudden we’re trying to push another aside. We try to distract on the mission of Gillette, saying things like, “What about child labor? What about this? What about that? What about all the bad things that Procter & Gamble does?” I’m sure they do shitty things. They’re corporations.
What we’re doing is we’re saying, “We’re not going to look at our own bad behavior. We’re going to say the thing behind the message that’s shitty.” Not all men. This is saying, “This is just a small set.” There’s a guy who wrote like, “It’s a small subset of guys that are doing this. Why are all the guys being blamed for this?” That’s a common thing. This is anti-male. This is against men. This is sexist. Basically, it’s trying to minimize what this is by saying all the things that guys aren’t. Here’s the news flash for you, men. You do not know the impact you have on other genders. You are not clear, aware and awake to the impact you have on all other genders.
For those other genders, it’s not fully comfortable for them to be themselves in this society. This is, in all my research and in all my conversations, the biggest challenge that’s facing society now. The biggest challenge in terms of intergender relationship. This is the thing that’s impacting because men do not understand the impact. They do not understand the impact of catcalling. They do not understand the impact of mansplaining. They do not understand the impact of their energy, their emotions, their sexuality and their masculinity. I’m not saying any of that is bad. I love being masculine. I love having my sexuality. I love being big, bodacious, loud and arrogant and all those things.If we don't pay attention to our bad behaviors, they remain bad behaviors. Click To Tweet
The only thing I’ve truly done to improve myself over the last several years of self-work is to understand my impact. I’ve learned, thankfully from the feedback from women and other genders who’d be willing to tell me the truth, “When you did this, this was the impact. Are you aware of that? Did you know?” The answer in the beginning was, “No.” Later on it was like, “Maybe.” I’ve learned just the impact I have. Men are not taking the time. Instead of saying to this ad being, “That’s curious. I wonder why they’re producing this ad? I didn’t know that was happening. I wonder how that feels?” Instead of getting curious and being like, “Why are they doing this?” Men are saying, “No.” I’m not saying this is all men too. There are women out there.
There was this woman on Good Morning Britain that’s saying, “This is the worst ad. This is anti-male.” Women are saying, “For God’s sake, I’m telling the three men in my house, your product will not make my home ever again. All three are fine men. Two are Marines that sacrifice so you can insult masculinity. You can fuck right off with that.” These are not just men rebelling against this ad. These are also women. I believe in your right to have your opinion. I’m just saying you’re missing the point. Instead of being curious about what’s actually happening and what’s the result of it, we’re saying, “No.” We’re saying, “We’re looking at this and closing our mind,” because that’s where we want to live. We want to live in this little box without reality. Part of that reality that we’re not seeing is that men don’t know their impact on women. That’s what’s happening.
Men are good. You’re a good man. You’re a good man on a grand adventure. You’re a good man with a good heart. You’re a good man with good intentions but you’re disconnected. You’re disconnected from your emotions. You’re disconnected from your fear. You’re disconnected from your desire. You’re disconnected from your impact. When you’re not connected to these things that have us feel and receive feedback from the environment, we keep doing it. We’re like big dogs with big paws. I say men are like St. Bernards. We’re like big dogs with big tongues and big paws and knocking things off. St Bernards can be scary if you’re a small little person, but we’re not aware of it. It’s time for men to look at the elements of this video and say, “Where are the minute little places in our living?”
They can be small or they can be big. Look at the small little things. I had a chance to listen to a recording between a male teacher and a woman. The male teacher used dominance, anger, frustration and power over the woman for the whole 40-minute call. Then he would berate her and yell and she’d be like, “This is what I’m trying to do,” in a meek and sublime fashion. He kept using power over. When I confronted that teacher, he had no capacity to take my feedback to say, “This is how I think you could have done it better.” He went into his own viewpoint of why he needed to use domination and control to make his communication. In doing so, he lost a student. More importantly, he lost the opportunity for him to understand what the impact is.
Our President is the worst communicator I’ve ever seen in my professional career. I’m sorry whether you like Trump or not, whether you believe in his policies or not, I’m not talking about that. I’m not going into that debate. I am telling you, he is the worst communicator ever. He uses bullying. He uses domination and control. He uses humor. He uses biting sarcasm. He uses everything he can to stay in his power position. He is the perfect example of what this Gillette ad is about. It’s like we should have said, “Dedicated to Donald Trump by Gillette. Men can do better.” We could have gone in that direction. It’s because we live in a society where men don’t know the impact. They don’t understand that women feel scared leaving their house to walk to the store in their own neighborhood. They don’t get it.
I went to an Alison Armstrong workshop a couple of years ago. Alison Armstrong is the best in the business. She said, “How many men have felt physically threatened in the last week or the last month?” Ten of the hundred guys raised their hand. “How many have felt threatened in the last day?” One guy raised his hand. Then she turns to the women, which there were 150 women in the room, “How many women have felt physically threatened in the last 24 hours?” 80% stood up. We live in a rape culture. Brock Turner, a Stanford guy, raped a woman and got six months in prison. We live in a world where men do not know the impact they have on other genders. This is the ad to wake them up.Men are not clear, aware, or awaken to the impact they have on all other genders. Click To Tweet
I don’t want to go too far on this ad in this episode. I’m going to end on this viewpoint. You can take this ad and look and see yourself in the eye of the dad who stopped the bullying or the friend who stops the guy from sexually harassing the woman. You can be that guy. You can be the hero in the video or you can be the guy who was bullying. You can be the guy who’s chasing the kid, who’s sexually harassing the woman. It’s your choice. You can choose but the first step for you to choose that slot is to understand the impact of your behavior. That is all. Thank you. For more Tuff Love, more writing, RobertKandell.com. You can also read more about this in my book, UnHIDDEN: A Book For Men.
Thank you so much for joining me on the show. I hope these words pissed you off. I hope you have ideas and concepts and I would love to hear them. Please feel free to always contact me. I’m available on all the various social media platforms and you can find me also via the Contact form at RobertKandell.com. You can email me at Robert@RobertKandell.com. I will read it because I love knowing what you think. Go forth, be merry. Enjoy the world. I love you. Take care.
- Be The Best Man You Can Be
- Alison Armstrong
- UnHIDDEN: A Book For Men
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